Why Startups ARE For Everyone, part 1

"Startups aren't for everyone." I've written this considerably in this blog. (very prominently here) We've also heard it uttered by every other entrepreneur, it seems, right? "Entrepreneur you say? Well, ho ho ho! You have to have a unique skill set: a combination of cast-iron will, uber-magnetic charisma, the ability to laugh in fear's face, and space-age technical skills. Oh, and you need to be stupendously lucky." (I guess in a way, talk like this validates what we've done and makes us feel good about ourselves a bit) Lately, however, I'm starting to feel differently. I think startups are for everyone.  Before you hurl tomatoes at me (especially existing entrepreneurs :), … [Read more...]

My New Faburrito

Every Tuesday night, my prayer group would choose a restaurant around the Eastwood/Ortigas area to eat in. Last week, we chose this Mexican place called Faburrito, located at the Robinson's Supermarket area in Eastwood. Ever the entrepreneur, the first thing I thought was, "bad location, little traffic." This particular branch (I understand there's another one at the Columns, Makati), was at the edge of a corridor, with very little natural traffic. My friend Howard, who already finished his meal, began raving like a madman as soon as I arrived: Peterit'ssogoodanddifferenthere, theiringredientsareallnatural, theiceteaislightrefillableandyoucanchangeflavors! I … [Read more...]

The Wait Is Over! JGL OPEN COFFEE IS NOW BREWING! Reserve your slot now!

FInally! By far, the most common question my mailbox has received is: When is the next open coffee? and How come we didn't have open coffee last month? People, I'm so sorry for the delay, as I've been sorting out some stuff. I know we've now missed two months of open coffee. Let me begin making up for it by announcing that we're now good to go for the next Open Coffee this October! (woohooo!) EVENT DETAILS: WHAT: JGL OCTOBER OPEN COFFEE!!! WHEN: October 5, 2013, 9:30 am WHERE: 3rd Floor Function Hall, Centerpoint Building, Garnett cor. Julia Vargas Streets, Ortigas Center, Pasig Registration: Do register HERE to grab a slot.  Gate Fee: Kindly bring P100 for simple coffee and … [Read more...]

The Rise of the Free Agent Era and 5 Strategies to Survive It, Part 2

(This is part 2 of a 2-part series. Part one can be found here.) 3) Build Free Agent Skills So what sort of skills are highly useful in this free-agent era? Skills which maximize your ability to be independent - skills which can allow you to be highly mobile and flexible. Here are three really strategic ones you can work on: a) Learn How To Learn Real Fast Two common realities of the free agent era: there's always something new to learn, and you have to learn it fast. If you learn things fast, then you can work in vuitually any condition and won't be a victim of obsolescense. Adapt and live. So don't get married to a skill set (especially technical ones, which … [Read more...]

The Rise of the Free Agent Era and 5 Strategies to Survive It, Part 1

    (This is the first of a 2-part post) When I was in college in the mid 90's, I was still hearing the phrase, "employed for life" a bit. This was when an employer could virtually guarantee an employee's financial well-being from fresh-graduate to even beyond retirement. Twenty to thirty-year careers were commonplace and a societal norm. If you managed to be employed by say, San Miguel Beer in the 80's, you were literally set. All you had to do was to work hard, and the company would take care of you - for life! When I graduated in the late 90's, I think this sort of reality was already facing upheaval and was rapidly fading. In 1998 (just as when I … [Read more...]

Avoid These 5 Absolutely Crippling Startup Choices, Part 2

(This is part 2 of 2-part series. You can read part 1 here) 3) Reluctance to Get Down and Dirty Take a gander at some of the Lean startup methodology books. There is a reason why this line of thinking has become quite severely influential for startups around the world. The principles are quite sound: information and validation over guesswork and assumption. Getting to that information? You have to talk to a lot of customers. You have to SYSTEMATICALLY do it in an unbiased manner. You have to do it over and over. You have to iterate your product over and over. This is serious, rigorous work. You want success, as with anything worthwhile, you have to pay the piper. But I think this … [Read more...]

Avoid These 5 Absolutely Crippling Startup Choices, part 1

Its a shame that most of the talks we find on startups and entrepreneurship center more on the successes. This is perfectly understandable - it is painful to talk about failures. Yes, we say stuff like "it's a badge," and "failing is a necessity," but you know, if one really poured her heart and soul into a startup and it fails - it can be a real heartache. It's a shame because there can be SO much to learn from those who have experienced failure, specifically, how to avoid certain decisions and tendencies. I just realized I've just marked the fifth year anniversary of my startup leap a few weeks ago. It's mind-boggling to consider that I've now been working full-time with startups for … [Read more...]